I was inspired to write my forthcoming release, Turn The Mirror, after stumbling upon this lecture by scholar and Dame Mary Beard, professor at Cambridge University and Dame Commander of the British Arts (thank you VERY fucking much).
Long story short, at the end of her lecture Professor Beard expresses surprise at the fact that Medusa’s story hadn’t been explored or unpacked as one of the most powerful and prodigious pieces of patriarchal propaganda as deeply or commonly as it probably should have been by now. Especially after she shows how commonly it shows up in political media these days. I mean, she has a point. It’s just a story, and story is art. The arts should be exploring and unpacking the arts!! That’s what art is FOR! To quote Nina Simone “An artist’s duty is to reflect the times.” And the story of Medusa is still deeply ingrained in our times.
I invite you to take professor Beard’s lecture. I know, I KNOW a lecture isn’t what you signed up for, and you don’t have to watch it. But I promise you will gain so much insight into our current, collective psyche.
Her deep unpacking of this classic, almost invisible mythical lore blew my mind and her reserved, hobbit like humor just makes the listening so much more inviting.
I hope it informs how you experience the song and how you see the video.
I’ve just made an announcement that I am quitting Facebook, on Facebook. It turns out that it is a LOT harder to do than just deleting an account. I’m a product of Facebook, so they make it very difficult to become NOT a product anymore. I’m their source of income in the form of access to my eyes and wallet for their ad buyers. I don’t remember signing up for it, but there it is, every time I see an ad for shapewear or mascara or a new cleanse that is sweeping Hollywood, I’m being shown my value. The thing is, I’ve been on it for so long, and now am in a pandemic with limited access to real facetime with loved ones, that it’s become a, sort-of, indispensable resource for connection.
Unfortunately I was a bit tipsy when I made the post and didn’t realize how much of a tool I’d look like until I actually tried deleting my account. Also, it’s attached to Instagram. Ugh…..
I came to the conclusion that I would keep the account and ONLY log on a post when it was about music or to respond directly to a friend when addressed. We will see how this pans out. But I’m getting out in one way or another.
All this to say, I will be engaging here more often, so if you find yourself here, you’ll see things change more frequently. Also, I’m releasing some new music soon and this is where I’ll be sharing it first. WELL…..Second to Patreon. If you’d like to be first, hop on over to Patreon and become a Patron! It’s already a tight little group of awesome, supportive folks and I’d love to have you join them!
I’ve been sitting on a few finished tunes, one of which I am currently working with Kevin Shipp (of MNOP) to turn into my second ever music video which will be released in the next couple of months. I’m VERY excited to share it with you as it’s a bit of a departure from what I’ve done in the past.
I hope you enjoy it. Stay tuned, stay safe, stay sane.
Tune in this Friday, May 1st at 5:30pm to hear some of the songs you’ve requested as well as a brand-spakin’ new original tune all about WTF is going down in my mind during this Shelter In Place. I’ve had some CA-RAYZY dreams yo. Some old daemons have been paying me frequent visits and insisting I greet them as a sniveling ball on the floor.
The virtual tip jar will be out in support of our local music makers who would typically be spending their evenings playing their hearts out while the lindy hoppers, balboa bouncers, shag shimmiers, and blues dancers shake their things.
Our last fundraiser was on par at about $500 for our friends at Blush! Wine Bar! SO MUCH GRATITUDE for all who donated and turned out to support.
Of course, there is no obligation to contribute, but please do come to enjoy and share. See you there!
Here we are, Folks! We made it! It’s the new world order exactly as we imagined it!
Were we right? Did we win?
OY. I’ve been sequestered in place for the past week and a half, working from home and trying to understand the best way to be human while moving forward through this very confusing time.
I haven’t been writing. I haven’t really been playing. It makes me worried sometimes. Other times I feel relieved and sip another martini.
I’m one of the lucky ones. Privileged and secure with my ongoing responsibilities of a day job that hasn’t been closed or canceled. But only 3 months ago, I wasn’t.
Up until February I was a musician struggling to get by in a local gig economy that was already stacked against us. San Francisco is a hard place to make a musical living. I guess anywhere is. With the recent passing and ensuing panic around AB5, coupled with the closing of local venues that had been around for years, musicians and independent artists started leaving the state of California in droves. Nashville, New Orleans, Austin…anywhere people still left their houses to see live shows had more hope than home did.
I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet, though I had been planning to for years. There was still something here for me. Community, collaboration, friends, family. My partner. The Redwoods. The ocean.
But I was losing money and living in my parents spare room and I was 39. I was too old for this shit. Still, I was privileged to have what I had.
So I seized an opportunity to jump back into a day job at a company I am proud to be a part of. It does its best to do the right thing by everyone, and that is the best I can hope for. Just like Gillian Welch sings “Never minded working hard, it was who I’m workin’ for.”
I was also privileged to have had that opportunity offered to me at just the right time. Skin-of-my-teeth time.
As lucky as I am, I can’t help feeling a bit like a defector. I couldn’t hack it in music. I just couldn’t hang. And still, my privilege sways in my face every day and all I can do is accept it and support my people as best I can.
If I was disheartened by the way our artistic communities were treated then, I am only held afloat by the remarkable resilience they have shown in the face of all of it. They keep fighting with technology and community and optimism and lean upon the online awareness they have built and maintain and it is breathtaking. I’m so proud to know them.
The service industry is another sore sight for me. The bars, restaurants, mom and pop shops that are unique to the Bay Area have shut and those who relied on what little they were making in that sector are out of jobs. A lot of them. Thousands. And there is so little available to them in the meantime.
My plan for now is to sit quietly, do my job, not force the creative energy when it’s not here, send my dollars to those churning out their souls on Facebook live, Zoom, Bandcamp (100% goes to music makers so go buy music!), and whatever other social media magic is going to come out of this.
Thank you for all of your support. There will be more music from me so stay tuned. Until then, stay safe, stay sane, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and keep 6 feet away from anyone you pass on your daily excursions. Here’s a sweet snip from two of my local favorite creators.
If you are a fan of live performances and have never been to a house concert, you’re in for a treat! They are one of the best ways to experience performers and will leave you feeling a healthy sense of connection.
If you already know, well then, I don’t have to tell you. Snag a spot and see you there!
I’m a bit conflicted about this post because, on one hand, I wish it didn’t need to be done. But, on the other hand, I’m honored to have been included at this time when it needs to be done.
I wrote my song Bottle & Bowl in 2010 after Arizona proposed Arizona Senate Bill 1070. The Bill was signed into law in April of that year. The Federal Government ruled to uphold the bill but struck down three of the provisions as they were deemed in violation of the Supremacy Clause and the Constitution of the United States. The resulting “minor” civil unrest compelled me to highlight some perspective from the other side of the border.
This was back in 2010, almost a decade ago. I was HOPING that by this time, my little song would have lived its purpose and gone to rest peacefully, knowing it had served its full purpose as a small light in a dark corner.
But here we are, and the song has more work to do.
Bottle & Bowl is now one of a number of songs written about and for families being separated at our borders as they travel to the threshold of our country seeking asylum from a life that is unbearable.
This compilation is the result of a ton of love and work spearheaded by songwriter Annie Bacon, in partnership with WhistlePig Records, and including a number of amazing artists like Jimbo Scott of Poor Man’s Whiskey and Pete Donnelly of the Figs.
The compilation has even been mentioned in Billboard Magazine to inspire folks to donate this season.
Please consider purchasing either the album or a song or two. All proceeds go directly to Immigrant Families Together, meaning there are no middlemen scraping fees off of the top or sides.
Click on the link under the image to donate an amount of your choice.
Thank you for your support and I wish you a warm and loving Family Season.
On September 8th my band and I spent a beautiful noontime in Jane Werner Plaza. We had SO much fun and the crowd was remarkable and generous. Our tip jar over…flew..eth?
Anyhoo! One particular passer-by happened to be Marilynn Fowler from KPOO FM. She slipped an invitation, written on a piece of notepaper, to join her on her show into our tip jar and so I did. I had a ball chatting with her about my smol bubble of the music world and she was such a gracious host.
ALSO! I was so excited to be inside of this amazing San Francisco Institution. I was pretty much geeking out the entire time.
Have a listen to the archived interview HERE. Click on the show from October 21st and enjoy! If you want to skip ahead, my interview starts at 21:36.